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Moonlight: Movie Review

Moonlight was huge critical smash hit of 2016 for the most decorated critics in the nation, so I had to see what all the hype was about. And surely enough, Moonlight is a must-see experience. A film that is enriched in character development and even has the audience question who we are and the paths we create for ourselves. 

 

Positives: 

 

The Story:

Right from the get-go we are introduced to Chiron, a young boy who grows up being bullied and chased down by others who use sexually derogatory slurs towards him. His father-figure is a drug dealer who helps him learns valuable lessons about life and being a man, but he also faces his own demons as one of his buyers is Chiron’s mom, who is at first a hard-working medical assistent who turns to crystal meth and becomes fully dysfunctional towards being a mother to her own son. We see Chiron’s life through three stages. As a child, teenager, and eventually an adult. It’s tragic to see that Chiron never really got to express himself and who he really is and wants to be. He never had an adult figure to truly care for him when he really needed it, and his struggles with his sexuality are masked through a false tough persona he builds for himself when he’s an adult. It’s fantastic writing and thinking about it makes me want to tear up.

 

The Performances:

Each performance in this film is heartbreaking and feels real. There is a strong feeling of grounded reality and heartbreak and anger through each character. The supporting cast is phenomenally with each role playing a central role in Chiron’s evolution from boyhood to adulthood. All-around tremendous acting and synergy. 

 

The Themes and the Story’s Central Message:

Moonlight is a film of ideas and themes. We see Chiron’s story as a reflection of thousands and more of others who have been through internal and external struggles. Whether that struggle is with our own identity, sexuality, or personal relationships, at the heart of every situation, there’s always a time and room for forgiveness and acceptance. Never has there been a film like this year that’s made me question who I am or who I want to be. We have all been in a place where we feel like maybe we’re not enough and we wonder why.. But the core of the message for a film like Moonlight is that we never stop loving or learning, whether that love and learning is for others or for ourselves. 

 

Verdict:

Moonlight is a powerful film. Its strength lies in its beautiful performances and narrative. If you’re uncomfortable with scenes depicting sexuality and violence, take a moment to consider if you want to see the film. Some scenes can be unsettling or disturbing to others. But for me, Moonlight was a great film that explores the depths and growth of a man’s humanity and his discovery of self. 

Moonlight gets an A. 

I love reading, writing and especially watching films :) Movies and writing about them inspire to dream beyond reality :)
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